NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Early Predictions For The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2014 Season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5 Early Predictions For The 2014 Season

doug martin tampa bay buccaneers
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have done a miraculous job this offseason of adding talent to an already talented squad. HC Lovie Smith and company will look to build towards the future by asking young and very talented players to step up in a big way this year.

Here are five early predictions for Tampa Bay's 2014 NFL season.

5. DE Michael Johnson Earns His Money

Michael Johnson
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5. DE Michael Johnson Earns His Money

Michael Johnson
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Johnson, who the Bucs signed to a huge contract this offseason, has been one of the league's most feared pass rushers off the edge due to his size, speed, length and athleticism. He will fit in well with Smith's defensive style, which will lead to a team-leading 13.5 sack season -- thus leading to a career year for the young pass rusher.

4. SS Mark Barron Becomes Elite

Mark Barron
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4. SS Mark Barron Becomes Elite

Mark Barron
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Barron had another solid season last year for the Bucs, competing in 14 games and collecting 88 total tackles, two sacks, six passes defensed and two interceptions in just his second year. In his third year, however, the former Alabama defensive back will take the next step by becoming one of the league's best safeties overall. Look for Barron to become the defensive force this defense has lacked since S John Lynch ran wild.

3. RB Doug Martin Runs Wild

Doug Martin
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3. RB Doug Martin Runs Wild

Doug Martin
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If you are a true fan of football, you must be a fan of Martin. He is small, undersized and lacks elite speed, but the kid runs with anger and gives his all on every single play. After a devastating injury last season, Martin is coming back healthy and with a vengeance. After selecting RB Charles Sims and having two other talented backs behind him, Smith suggests it will be a running back-by-committee. Martin will say 'no thanks' this season.

2. CB Johnthan Banks Leads In Interceptions

Johnthan Banks
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2. CB Johnthan Banks Leads In Interceptions

Johnthan Banks
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Banks, coming off a rookie season which saw some highs and lows, will look to become the team's No. 1 corner in a battle with offseason acquisition Alterraun Verner. Verner will likely win that battle, but Banks will be the team's top ball hawk, leading to a team-high seven interception season. At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Banks has the size to match up with the opposing team's No. 1 receiver, especially in the red zone. He'll get it done this year.

1. QB Mike Glennon Leads Bucs To 8-8

Mike Glennon
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1. QB Mike Glennon Leads Bucs To 8-8

Mike Glennon
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Glennon, who had a very respectable rookie season in 2013, will be 'replaced' by Smith's 'guy' in QB Josh McCown. While McCown had a decent season last year with Chicago, I'm projecting that McCown will struggle this season in Tampa Bay. Glennon will then get a chance to lead the team into contention after the McCown-lead team struggles to a 1-4 start. Glennon will bring Tampa back into contention, finishing the season with a 8-8 record.